tv The Last Word MSNBC July 18, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
for 60 years, just like in australia nobody was watching, but the key moment until it actually dripped, until now. >> the scientists noticed a drip was forming, and they set up a web camera to film it. and last thursday as this shows, the drip finally dropped. >> are we finally going to see this thing that nobody saw happen in 83 years? can we see it? this is a time lapse, nine days worth of drip cam, but look -- oh, my god, we were waiting for this -- generations. oh -- best new thing in the world today. thank you, now it is time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell, have a great night. tonight, boston magazine has an answer to "rolling stone"
magazine's treatment of the boston marathon bomber. photographs obtained today by the police sergeant who was there the moment dzhokhar tsarnaev came out of that boat in watertown. and tonight, trayvon martin's parents spoke to the man whose help they sought in the pursuit of justice, the reverend al sharpton, we will show you that interview and al sharpton will join me. >> this trial was not about trayvon martin, this trial was about george zimmerman and what he did that night. >> speaking out in live interview since george zimmerman was acquitted. >> both parents said the verdict was stunning. >> i felt his life was made a mockery of. >> the real story here is understanding the jury. >> they put more responsibility on the child and not the adult. >> we saw for the first time a lack of respect for humanity. >> the system was not fair. >> we had to have a bigger discussion about race, the
issues of race and justice continue to dominate the national conversation. >> over a thousand demonstrators gathered in orlando, florida wednesday night. they are looking for a repeal of the law. >> it is very difficult to repeal the law. does it die down and go away? or does something come out of it? >> we want to make sure that people are listening to what happened. and we make positive change. four hours ago, the reverend al sharpton devoted a full hour on this show with a discussion to trayvon martin's parents who chose not to be in the courtroom when the verdict of george zimmerman was read. >> you watch the attorneys after the verdict, their press statements. the defense attorneys, when they held a press conference? >> yes. >> what was your reaction to what they had to say? >> i have not watched any of the press releases. i just couldn't get myself in
front of the tv to see what they had to say. i just felt that as a father who had lost his child, i felt that his life had been made a mockery of. so i couldn't just stand in front of the tv and watch them parade, so to speak, on national television. >> why do you feel that trayvon's life was made a mockery of? >> i just didn't feel that the jurors -- not all of the sanford police, but some of the sanford police department didn't take this serious at all. and i just as i said, i just didn't feel that his life value meant anything to them. >> sybrina, you said you saw some of it. what was your reaction to the press conference by the defense
attorney? >> i -- let me just go back. as i sat in the courtroom, it just seemed to me as though trayvon was on trial. and this trial was not about trayvon, this trial was about george zimmerman and what he did that night. but it just constantly seemed to me like they were trying to just bring things up that trayvon had done. i mean, who has not done things as a 17-year-old? so i mean, they put responsibility on the child, and not the adult, george zimmerman. so the comments that they made was based on that. the comments were to me, some of the comments were just distasteful. you know, you can tell me you're sorry for my loss, and then stabbing me in the back at the same time. so i understand that. i understand what you know, the concept and everything that was going on. >> did -- when you say that all
of that stabbing in trying trayvon rather than zimmerman, do you think it was a fair trial? >> i think the state of florida did their best. i think angela corey's office did their best to try to get a conviction. i don't know about the jury or the defense. i think the judge was fair in her rulings of the different motions. but it just seemed -- just like when the verdict came, it just seemed like wow, you can get away with murder. so now our kids are targets. you know, it is a scary feeling. how are we going to reassure them to feel safe walking down the street? going home, minding their own business with a drink and some candy. >> joining me now, the host of msnbc's politic's nation, the reverend al sharpton and msnbc contributor, joy reid, al, once
again you delivered an important interview, and a lot of viewers are still on their way from home at 6:00 and i want to give you another chance because it is so important to them. but i want to read to you and joy a statement just released by governor rick scott of florida. he has met with some of the protesters and has met with a group of them. today, governor scott released the following statement following the meeting this evening. i asked to meet with the protesters this evening to personally hear their concerns following the jury's verdict in the george zimmerman case. i expressed my sympathies for the martin family and all of those affected by the death this eveni evening. i spoke to sybrina fulton, trayvon's mother, to let her know that she and her family remain in our thoughts and prayers. here is the key part, al and joy.
tonight, the protesters again asked that i call a special session of the legislature to repeal florida's "stand your ground law." i told them that i agree with the task force on citizen's safety and protection, which concurred with the law. i also reminded them of their right to share their views with their state legislators and let them know their opinions on the law. he talks about a statewide day of prayer this sunday, july 21st. and he said that although emotions run high it is even more important that we join together to strengthen one another. so reverend al, there you have it. he does continue to support the "stand your ground law". >> well, i think you cannot deal with this situation without dealing with that law. and the person i think that really brought that point home was the jury that went public, said a lot of things that many
disagree with. what she said, that i did what the law compelled me to do and the law must be changed if we're going to deal with this situation differently. this is a juror who voted to acquit george zimmerman. you cannot get around the fact that the stand your ground law, which she said they deliberated on even though it was not in the trial. but it certainly impacts how self defense is instructed by a judge. it certainly impacts the fact that george zimmerman was released today. he killed trayvon martin using that law. we now have a law on the books that is now also in 32 other states that gives people the right to go and use deadly force without any kind of backing up, with any kind of retreat, is the language in the law. and you could be wrong. what people are escaping in this debate and discussion around the law, lawrence, is that you cannot in any way shape or form
tell anybody what trayvon martin did wrong. he went to the store to get some skittles and ice tea and to go home. he did not commit a crime or was trespassing. there was no reason that mr. zimmerman would have approached him at all. when he did, you're saying that trayvon didn't have a right to defend himself in any way after he was under attack. it seemed like the law only worked for george zimmerman. and this is based on the law and the fact that the judge gives discretion on how the law and who the law will work for. and i think that is why this law is so unfair and unjust, is why people around this country are mobilizing. saturday we'll be in 100 cities with vigils saying that. the mother will be here with me in new york for a vigil. they're saying wait a minute, you can't have a law if somebody
is doing nothing wrong, you can use deadly force and you did not commit a crime, like human life has no value. >> a lot of commentators are getting it wrong on the stand your ground law. the stand your ground law changed the jury instructions that the jurors were felt bound by. and it changed them to include stand your ground concepts. but al and joy, i want to get to something that trayvon martin's father said to you, al, in this interview that i think is the most clear statement i have seen about why he thinks that there was a separation between him and those jurors and why that bring of comprehension could not -- be met between the two of them. why that jury was never going to understand trayvon martin and never going to understand trayvon martin's parents. let's listen to this.
>> i don't think they could connect with them. in the sense that they're not looking through the eyes of an african-american parent. they don't know what it is like to be an african-american. they don't know all of the trials and tribulations, so i think the disconnect was, maybe they have kids and they never figured that their kids would ever have to be put in that position. whereas we on the other hand, we understand that society is cruel. and i just don't think that they saw it coming from our perspective. >> joy reid, your reaction to that. >> i think he is absolutely right, tracy martin in a sense challenged what we heard from juror b-37, who essentially espoused the view that she
couldn't think of trayvon martin as anything other than a child. she just couldn't fathom it. that is why she went in as an acquittal juror from the beginning. and that illustrates another problem with stand your grown, because the problem is those kinds of disconnects, the way people relate to one another, the concept that people fear one another based on race, dress and appearance, stand your ground encourages people to use that fear, get into a conflict. and it sounds like rick scott is listening without hearing or hearing without listening. because what people are saying including the trayvon martin foundation is they want a trayvon martin amendment to stand the ground saying you can't be the aggressor, shoot somebody, and not be held accountable. >> i want to go to something else that trayvon martin's
father told al sharpton today, the fact that half the jury voted for guilt in the first vote. two guilties on manslaughter, one guilty on second degree murder. and that fascinated trayvon martin's father. he couldn't fathom how they went from those guilties to a complete not guilty. let's listen to this. >> i just couldn't understand how can you come from three people feeling that he was guilty to manslaughter to all six people feeling that he was innocent. that is the part that i am having trouble grasping. because that shows me that there was -- there was thought in their mind that he was guilty. and how you go from second degree to not guilty at all, that troubles me, baffles me. >> reverend al, we heard a lot
of legal analysis about that initial vote and how it changed. but to hear it from the parents' perspective, how painful that would be, the jurors changed their minds about his son during those deliberations. >> when you look at the tape of the juror that did the interview, the b-37 juror, the juror referred to, she said the law and she said "stand your ground." which was not brought in trial, but she clearly said it was in deliberations. the way that i could only surmise the way they were able to turn the votes around, is the law said this, which the parents are correct and the civil rights community said you must hit the root problem. which is the law. and the law is not used equally. you have a young lady named marissa alexander, who was beaten, assaulted by her
husband, hospitalized. he ended up having a peace warrant against him. came back, got into a confrontation with her, she threatened him, shot a warning shot, didn't hit anybody, didn't hurt anybody. the judge refused to let her have stand your ground. she is doing 20 years in jail in jacksonville. how do you have a law when innocent young man going home gets killed, being approached by his killer. being followed by his killer, he is acquitted. young lady with a record of violence against her from her husband. her husband, warning shot after he threatens to kill her, she is doing 20 years in jail. we can't have a nation that has those type of laws on the book. and we think that we're a nation that represents what is fair and equal for everybody. >> joy reid and reverend al, stay with us. we'll have much more of this interview coming up. including what trayvon's mother would say to george zimmerman if she had that chance.
also ahead. a stunning response to the rolling stone controversy. a police sergeant's incredible photographs of the moment dzhokhar tsarnaev came out of that boat in watertown and into custody. those pictures and what has now happened to that police sergeant for releasing them. that story is coming up. and darrell issa tries and fails to rewrite himself in tonight's rewrite. this is my favorite one. it's upside down. oh, sorry. (woman vo) it takes him places he's always wanted to go. that's why we bought a subaru. (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. a friend under water is something completely different.
>> do you feel that trayvon is with you and watching and seeing what y'all are doing? >> absolutely. >> definitely. >> absolutely. it is little things that happen around us, which gives us confirmation that not only god is there, but our angel is watching us, too. >> back with me are msnbc's reverend al sharpton and joy reid. and al, i want to go to trayvon martin's mother's answer to the
question on what would you say to george zimmerman if you had the chance. let's listen to that answer. >> i would pray for him. i would tell him my favorite bible verse which is proverb's 3, 5, and 6, which is you shed innocent blood and you will have to account for that. and i would pray for him, i really would. because i don't want to block my blessings by having any hate in my heart for him. so i would pray for him. >> reverend al, you have known the family now for over a year. you have prayed with them yourself. did that answer surprise you at all? >> no, it didn't. that was the attitude from day one when i was first called in just to say we want a trial. would you put some attention, and then we rallied people to say they deserved a trial because the police had closed the case. we never were called until then. and i found her then to be very spiritual. and very noble.
i remember when there was some saying we're going to put out a reward to go get zimmerman since the police won't do anything. and there was no prosecutor involved. she said reverend al, we're going out to denounce that, and had a press conference and did that. she always said we want to make the system work. i want trayvon to be known for correcting this, not added to the violence and hatred and bitterness, and i refuse to have that as part of me. and even tonight, with a broken heart, less than a week after the one who killed her son was acquitted, she said i will pray for him and quoted scriptures, and will be held accountable in a spiritual way. and i think if america looks at this man and this woman and how they can behave. and you look at george zimmerman who sat on a national interview and said he had no regrets, he wouldn't change anything he did. even though he knows now he was
wrong to try and say he suspected trayvon martin of doing some wrong or something suspicious. and to still say you have no regrets, i think you see the difference between the two sides here. >> al, i think what is so valuable about these interviews, last night with rachel jeantel and tonight with the parents is that we're seeing these people who are not used to speaking publicly or in courtrooms and we get to see them speaking with someone who they can relate to completely. who they feel completely comfortable with, who they know will understand their perspective and what they have to say. and i think it has opened them up both nights in a way we haven't seen before. and i want to show what they said to you. when they were telling you about what it felt like to see photographs of their dead son, medical examiner photographs and so forth, things that no parent ever expects to live long enough to see a dead child of theirs.
>> to see my son laying on the ground. to see my son at the medical examiner's, just to not see my son smiling and happy and alive. you know, it bothered me a great deal. and when i felt that i could not sit in the courtroom and listen to it, we did have a little room we went into. and in that room, i just -- took some time out. just so that i was not so connected to every single thing that was going on. but it helped me a great deal. and i couldn't take everything. >> tracy? >> just to see the lifeless body of an individual that we knew was full of life. full of energy. just to see him laying on the medical examiner's table, that was -- it was disturbing. it was hurtful. it was -- it is something that
-- those are photos that you really don't want to look at. but at the same time, you want to see what this monster in fact did -- i wanted to see what this monster did to my son. >> joy reid, you don't have to do much when you hear that described like that to imagine what they went through. >> no, it is hard for us, again. and you know when i watched the interview tonight, i thought the prosecutor has also been talking to this family for over a year. yes, they represent the state of florida but they also represent this family. why didn't they -- when they put sybrina fulton on the stand, why didn't they talk to her more and listen to these parents about how articulate they were talking about their child, who he was as a person. it just baffled me that the questions were so brief with her, the prosecutor didn't try to draw her out, make them look
at this mom and have her describe her son. and they kept the vietnam veteran guy on to talk about george zimmerman. and where was the prosecution in putting tracy on? look, tracy martin was in sanford at the time of this killing. why wouldn't you want to put the parents on as the prosecutors, and use the sort of theatrics of the courtroom the way that the defense did. so watching this, i kept thinking to myself wow, gee, why didn't angela corey do what they did, show the jury who clearly had no sympathy for this child, i don't understand why they didn't do that. >> well, reverend al sharpton knows how to talk to people in a way that is a little more human than trial lawyers do. reverend al sharpton, thank you. >> thank you. >> the full interview is
available at msnbc, we'll link to it. you really should take it all in. al, thank you again for another impressive interview. thank you. coming up, the conversation about race that america has been busy avoiding for decades. and darrell issa is back in the rewrite tonight trying to rewrite himself. narz [ male announcer ] it's 7am and steve is already thinking about tomorrow. which is why he's investing in his heart health by eating kellogg's raisin bran®. mom make you eat that? i happen to like raisins. [ male announcer ] invest in your heart health. now that's what i'm talkin' about. [ male announcer ] with kellogg's raisin bran®.
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about trayvon martin. >> that trayvon was definitely a pillar in this time, in his generation, that his killing may have had something to do with the ending of the senseless violence. we want to learn from this. you know, and i think it is -- i think we, as a people in general, as a whole, should take heed to this and learn from this. >> joining me now, professor joseph, director of the center for the study of race and democracy at tufts university, and maya wiley, professor for social inclusion. justice, the piece you wrote today entitled "trayvon, race and democracy." you said it only scratches the
surface, the historically based dialogue on national race relations allowed for a stunning development in the trial, one wherein the deceased victim was turned into a criminal. professor, what do you think that that court and jury ignored about the history of america and race relations that should have been included in the framing of trayvon martin's story? >> well, i think the biggest thing they ignored was the fact that when you think of this republic, we're founded on racial slavery. and when we think about american democracy, we've made huge strides since the heroic period of the civil rights movement, from 1964 to 1965. when we think about the voting rights act that was passed, the civil rights act that was passed, it has only been recently that african-americans
were treated the same in the jury system. there has been a condemning of black people who have been feared, marginalized and stereotyped. so the jury should have been explained the history of american race relations and also the history of stereotyping a young, black man. trayvon martin is not the first black man to die just because of his race because people feared him. there is a loathing of black male bodies historically in the united states. and this goes back to the 18th and 19th century. so when we think about this jury, this jury was disallowed from empathizing with trayvon, and really confronting the history of race and democracy in the united states. >> well, and your piece also says this lack of historical framing allowed trayvon martin to be transformed as you put it, transformed from a racially profiled victim into a predator
capable of instilling dramatic fear into his assailant. and it is not surprising considering this nation's long history of cultural racism that dehumanizes black men and women. this proved to be a second death for trayvon. and maya wiley, how can we now attempt to get that history mainstream to the point where you could kind of randomly select a jury in florida who would have this kind of frame in their heads? >> well, i think it is an important question. this conversation of history is very important to where we are in society. i think what we're seeing is that the law has not kept pace with what brain science tells us. all of this history that we're talking about has also produced a culture in which we constantly see images of people who are black in low income communities.
we see images of black people being arrested and handcuffed. and what that means is for those of us who do not live together. those of us who live in segregated communities, remember that sanford, florida is 80% white. 20% black. very segregated in many ways. we actually don't know each other in ways that break down the stereotypes, that help us see that there is this image of a person that is not actually who the person is or what the person is. our laws actually don't recognize that that produces what we casee as implicit bias. it doesn't mean we still don't react to images, to stereotypes. so see a tall black boy in a hoodie actually evokes a stereotype that our brains are
making a decision on in a nano-second. and that is why we have things like shooter bias. and our laws don't really recognize that science. and we have 15 years of established scientific data, that what is established as racism now becomes neuro-path ways in our brains. >> and professor joseph, you talk about the notion that we have ended racism, which is touted by a lot of commentators on the right. you said color blind touts the racism. >> absolutely, when we think about this notion of color blind racism, it basically says that racism is over and announces racial equality as a fact. when in fact we see all of these huge racial disparities.
barack obama's election was a watershed in our history. it is also glossed over, perpetual racism and institut n institutions of inequality, many hoped that president obama's election would change that. that is not the truth. what we need now is a national conversation about race and democracy that is linked to public policy. 50 years ago john f. kennedy made a brilliant speech where he talked about race and democracy and said that america, for all of its hopes and boasts, would not be free until all americans are free. we're still waiting. we require leadership. and leadership is not just from the president but from americans of good will at universities, at churches, in street corners. and what is needed now is to confront racism. talking about race does not make
someone a racist. our lack of forthright analysis and honest dialogue about race and racial inequality. and this goes beyond the black and white divide. i'm talking about latinos, asian-americans, hispanics, we need a national dialogue on race and democracy that is connected substanti substantively. >> maya -- i'm deeply fascinated by your discussion of racism in the brain, many would not think they were racists. we have to have more discussions on this. thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you for having us. coming up, the response to rolling stone's cover on dzhokhar tsarnaev, a massachusetts state police sergeant revealed his photos
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president's political enemieies effectively and then lies about it afterwards. >> and then here is issa chairing his comments on the scandal today. >> i hope that both my side of the aisle and the ranking member's side of the aisle will be very careful and cautious in what we say. it is important that we understand that words matter, nuances matter and that we not go one step beyond what we know. >> not one step beyond what we know. that is the new darrell issa who is terribly embarrassed by the old darrell issa. the leading democrat on the committee could not believe what he was hearing. >> our chairman led the charge saying this was "targeting of the president's political enemies." the chairman certainly did not with hold judgment.
he rushed to it with no evidence whatsoever. the responsible answer is that we have no evidence at all to back up that claim. >> well, i have never said it was the president. i never said he directed it. >> darrell issa is not quite as good at back peddling on his high horse as mitt romney's dancing horse is. yeah, okay, that is not exactly mitt romney's dancing horse. that was just the only video we could get at the last minute of a horse walking backwards. the committee heard from two irs witnesses today, one of who was from the infamous cincinnati office. republicans were deeply disappointed to discover that she must have left her smoking gun at home. >> during the transcribing of the interview, you were asked if you were aware of any political bias by employees in the cincinnati office against tea party organizations. and you responded no, quote, no,
i am not, is that correct? >> yes, sir, that is correct. >> and you still stand by that? >> yes, sir. >> you also asked this question, are you aware of any political motivations behind the developing and screening of any tea party organizations? again you responded no, i am not. >> and is your testimony the same today? >> yes, sir. >> okay, so based on your own personal experience did you ever receive direction from anyone in the white house concerning your handling of the tea party applications? >> no, sir, i did not. >> you know, we heard exactly the same thing from every -- just to let you know, we heard the same thing that you just said from every single person we interviewed. 16 of them. of you all. so i don't understand why this keeps -- these allegations keep cropping up. >> the other witness was an irs
tax attorney in the washington headquarters. he confirmed the fact, revealed in the original inspector general's report that the issue of how to handle tea party applications for tax-exempt status reach as high as the irs chief counsel's office, something darrell office tried to pretend was not routine and was new information today. congresswoman tammy duckworth asked the question on that one. >> do you have any reason to believe that the decision to have the irs chief counsel's office review tea party cases was motivated by political bias? >> no, i do not. >> some democrats isolated the problem the same way this program has, which is the conflict between the law as written and the 1959 regulation, written by the irs which misinterprets the law. the law, as we now know, the 501
c-4, operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare. in 1959, they said suddenly that 501 c-4's could be primarily engaged in social welfare, not exclusively, primarily. the 1964 bureaucratic change has created the problem we have today. irs agents trying to determine if an organization is primarily engaged in social welfare, which most tax attorneys representing political organizations have decided to interpret as meaning that the organization is 51% engaged in social welfare. 51% is primarily, according to the lawyers. and 49% can be engaged in politics. the tax attorneys have simply made up this 51% rule. and the irs has never actually challenged them on it for decades. and the real fix to the problem is obviously you simply enforce the law as written and make 501
c-4 tax exempt status available only to organizations engaged exclusively in social welfare. >> forgive me for getting out the statute. but it says concerning the social welfare organizations, that they must be operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare. >> yeah, that is right. in darrell issa's committee, in fact, in most congressional committees you have to beg forgiveness for actually reading the law that the hearing is about. >> i wouldn't want to be in your position, to look at the words exclusively, then primarily and then trying to figure it out. >> it seems based on the testimony today and prior testimony that the clear way forward if we're going to solve the problem, which seems to me what we should be doing from here on out is that we should solve it. let's make the 501 c-4s go back
to what congress intended, exclusively for purpose of social welfare. >> would it make your professional life easier if you were not retired and still working? if it was just very clear in the law that no, not for profit that engages in political activity shall receive in any way, shape or form a tax relief from the irs. would that make your life easier in doing your job, mr. hall? >> yes, i think it would. >> how about you -- >> yes, i agree with mr. hall. >> and so what are the chances that the republican house of representatives will agree on a way to make life easier at the irs? she's still the one for you - you know it even after all these years. but your erectile dysfunction - you know,that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet
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tactical photographer who released photos of dzhokhar tsarnaev, has been relieved of duty. in the wake of the cover, the sergeant released a series of photographs he took during the manhunt, including three photos showing where tsarnaev was found in the back of the boat. tsarnaev is bloodied, by the red glow of the sniper's laser aimed squarely at his head. the photos were published by boston magazine today along with the words written by sergeant murphy. who said i hope that people who see these photos know it was real as it gets. it may have played out as a television show. but it was not a television show. these were real people with real lives.
and real families. joining me now by phone, the author of the boston magazine piece about these photographs today, editor-in-chief, john wilson. the statement that the police officer made today had some very bitter words for "rolling stone" magazine, this was a direct reaction to the magazine cover, wasn't it? >> yes, i believe it was absolutely right. he was motivated by the cover and the effect he felt it had on the families of the victims, some of whom he has been in touch with personally. he also works as a liasion officer. >> i felt he had full permission to release these, and this was in effect the police establishment there in boston responding in their way to rolling stone and just kind of
pretending that he was letting you have these on his own. but it turns out he was, it seems, acting completely on his own? >> yes, he was, somewhere around 7:40, i don't have the exact time, two state police lieutenants and a sergeant showed up at his house and confiscated his computer, badge, gun and ammunition, and he was essentially suspended. a formal suspension. and he will be relieved of duty next week and look into the longer term consequences. >> and john, in your account -- accompanying the photographs, you do mention and obviously acknowledge that this was provoked by the rolling stone piece. but i have to ask you as a magazine guy yourself what your reaction was to the rolling stone cover, and to the story. >> yes, you know, i was quite up front, actually with sergeant murphy that i did not feel